Drake fans have been waiting for a new album for a couple of years now with scarcely any teasers, even. Rumors suggested that Certified Lover Boy would drop in the first week of August but, apparently, the record is actually releasing in early September.
Remember, Drake didn't drop his sixth studio album in January because he was recovering from a knee injury.
"I was planning to release my album this month, but between surgery and rehab, my energy has been dedicated to recovery," Drake wrote on Instagram at the time. "I'm blessed to be back on my feet, feeling great and focused on the album, but CLB won't be dropping in January. I'm looking forward to sharing it with you all in 2021."
Prior to that, Drake’s longtime producer Noah ‘40’ Shebib teased Certified Lover Boy's varied sonic landscape in an appearance on Kevin Durant's ETCS podcast. The album was "ready to go" back in October 2020, apparently, and 40 explained that the album would deliver all "different types of Drake music."
"How many different types of fans does he have? How many songs is he going to give you of each type, so that you’re satisfied with this offering? He’s trying to deliver for a lot of different people," 40 said. "I think that’s the predicament we find ourselves in, which is trying to make music for everyone and to make sure all the different types of fans are satisfied."
Certified Lover Boy also ties into Drake's deal with Nike, reportedly worth $460 million. In December, the rapper launched a Certified Lover Boy capsule with Nike – complete with bootleg CDG socks — and we recently scoped an early look at Drake's forthcoming Nike Air Force 1 collab, which is named — what else? — "Certified Lovery Boy."
That initial merch reveal came a week after Champagne Papi dropped the star-studded visuals for "Laugh Now Cry Later," featuring Lil Durk. "Laugh Now Cry Later off my next studio album CERTIFIED LOVER BOY," he wrote on Instagram for his 70 million followers. Thus far, it's the only single issued from Certified Lover Boy.
Kevin Durant, Odell Beckham Jr., and Marshawn Lynch made cameos in The “Laugh Now Cry Later” video. In the clip, the Lover Boy title was briefly referenced on the back of Drake’s Nike jersey in a scene. At the end of the Dave Meyers-directed clip, the initials “CLB” and a rose appeared on the screen, which was the first hint at the album title.
There is currently very little information available about Drizzy's latest other than that it will be released through OVO Sound and Drake's mysterious Frozen Moments imprint.
Drake stoked the flames of rumor by appearing on Sound 42's Friday Friday radio show in early August to tease a bit more info. "Album's cooked," he said over a dubby instrumental break between tracks. "Looking forward to delivering it to you."
Social media scuttlebutt suggested that Drake is prepping the record's release for August 5 or 6, direct competition for Kanye's DONDA. Of course, neither album dropped and, instead, Drake and Kanye got into some kind of one-sided beef.
On August 10, though, LeBron James posted an Instagram Story declaring that "CLB Coming Soon People. My brother ain't FN around."
Unfortunately, the statement wasn't accompanied by any new audio previews. Instead, Drake's "4PM in Calabasas" played in the background.
Drizzy responded to LeBron's story with a repost and flurry of emojis.
Then, hot on the heels of Kanye West's latest DONDA listening party, Drake reclaimed the spotlight by announcing the release date of his upcoming LP, Certified Lover Boy.
During the last weekend of August, a broadcast of ESPN's SportsCenter was interrupted with a cryptic clip of a faceless figure holding up a cardboard sign reading "CLB September 3." A representative told Rolling Stone that the mysterious teaser can be taken "at face value."
Drake then officially confirmed the September 3 release date for Certified Lover Boy on Instagram a couple days later.
In addition to confirming the release date via Instagram, Drake shared a visual of pregnant emoji women and tagged Damien Hirst. This prompted some to speculate that the emoji-heavy graphic will be the cover of the upcoming LP and that Hirst had something to do with it. Neither is confirmed, of course, though the tagging of Hirst certainly implies that the artist will play some part in the LP’s release.